• Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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WACT boosts port operations with a container freight station at Onne

WACT boosts port operations with a container freight station at Onne- 2024-03-20T120002.784 (1)

APM Terminals’ West Africa Container Terminal (WACT) has achieved a significant milestone with the official commissioning of its new Container Freight Station (CFS) at Onne Port, Rivers State to boost operations.

The new facility brings WACT a step closer to its strategic vision of becoming the ‘gateway to Eastern Nigeria and beyond’, offering a comprehensive suite of logistics solutions to empower Nigerian businesses and further boost efficiency.

Speaking at the commissioning in Onne Port, Rivers State recently, Jeethu Jose, managing director of WACT, said the facility will act as a central hub for various trade-related activities, including interaction with regulatory authorities and seamlessly connect businesses in Eastern Nigeria to the global marketplace and vice versa.

He said it will also support streamlined processes for import and export operations to reduce time and cost for customers.

He said expertly crafted solutions at the CFS are designed to expedite the movement of key Nigerian commodities like agro products and solid minerals, ensuring Just-in-Time service delivery through efficient stuffing and swift transfers to the port.

The new facility, according to him, also offers a reliable warehousing service for both import and export cargo across diverse sectors.

“The CFS will serve as a one-stop-shop where all our customers can consolidate their exports. The facility will aid the Nigerian government’s drive to promote export and generate forex, which will be beneficial to the country and the economy,” Jose said.

Ismaila Badjie, commercial manager at WACT, who described the facility as the first of its kind in Onne Port, said the Container Freight Station has a lot of benefits to the customer and described it as cost-effective.

“It will also ensure the reduction in time wastage. The facility will help customers in the non-oil exports and will also continue to support and ensure that natural produce is available abroad, and will directly or indirectly aid the creation of jobs,” he said.

Also speaking, Baba Imam, Customs Area Controller of Port Harcourt II Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, congratulated WACT for the facility and its milestone achievements at the port.

“By constructing this edifice, we will be able to facilitate trade. It entails that WACT is transforming and trying to be consistent in the way and manner they keep adding value, which is a clear manifestation of the kind of commitment they have in trying to be consistent in the transformation agenda they have. From the perspective of Customs, one of the cardinal mandates we have is trade facilitation,” Imam said.

He assured the terminal operator of continuous support in its drive to enhance service delivery at the port.

The West Africa Container Terminal, which started commercial operation in 2006, is the first Greenfield container terminal in Nigeria to be built under a Public-Private Partnership model. The terminal is located within the Oil and Gas Free Zone in Onne Port, Rivers State.

Over the years, it has grown to become the most efficient gateway to markets outside the Lagos area and it is a major gateway to East Nigeria.

In 2020, WACT announced a further investment of $115 million to upgrade the terminal. The upgrade involves the acquisition of three additional Mobile Harbour Cranes, bringing the total in operation to five; 20 Rubber Tyre Gantry Cranes; three Reach Stackers; 13 terminal trucks, and two empty container handlers.

It also includes the deployment of reefer racks with a 600-plug capacity, as well as expansion of the current yard, new workshop, a new terminal auto gate, modernised offices, and state-of-the-art technology. The final phase of the upgrade is expected to be completed this year.

The CFS commissioning ceremony was attended by many stakeholders including the representatives of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), shipping lines, shippers, and freight forwarders, among others.